Also known as: inflammation of the myocardium, inflammation of the heart
What is Myocarditis?
The myocardium is the thick layer of muscle tissue in the center of the wall of the heart. When it becomes inflamed, the disorder is known as myocarditis which may lead to a number of symptoms.
What causes myocarditis?
Viruses are the most common cause of myocarditis, however bacteria, parasites and fungi can also cause myocarditis. In rarer instances, certain medications or exposures to chemicals, radiation, or toxins can lead to myocarditis. Some diseases which cause inflammation throughout the body, for example rheumatoid arthritis, may also involve the heart and cause myocarditis.
What are the symptoms of myocarditis?
Some children may have very few, difficult to detect symptoms, however as myocarditis affects the heart’s ability to pump blood normally, symptoms can include trouble breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue and fainting.
What are myocarditis care options?
In many cases myocarditis can be treated with medications that help the heart pump blood more easily. Most children with good medical treatment will recover completely. When myocarditis is severe, surgery or the implantation of a pacemaker might be required to help the heart work more efficiently.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 1/10/2017 3:29:33 PM
From the Newsdesk
Every 3 days, the life of a young athlete is lost due to sudden cardiac death. Usually, there are no advanced signs or symptoms. But the saddest part is that it's entirely preventable. A simple EKG screenig can detect heart problems before it's too late. Miami Children's Hospital is offering this invaluable test free of charge to middle and high school sports participants.
Joy Baysa, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a pediatric cardiologist and electrophysiologist with The Heart Program.